Sometimes when I am talking to a person who is separated from their spouse, especially if things are not going well, they will ask something like, “Why should I even fight for my marriage? My spouse doesn’t seem to care.”.
Here are some of the reasons I continued to fight for my marriage even when it was obvious Sharon wanted out and others were telling me to give up because it was “done”.
The first reason was my commitment before God at our wedding. When I said for better or worse till death do us part I really meant it. I decided that having Sharon want out of our marriage was the “for worse part” but I wanted to please God by not giving up.
Another reason that I continued to fight was for Sharon’s benefit. Everything I knew about her was that she was a woman of her word and a woman of integrity. She was a person that very much wanted to live up to her word by paying her bills on time and making appointments on time and fulfilling other promises. She had also said during our dating time that for her marriage was for life. Although at that moment she wanted out of our marriage, I didn’t believe that in her heart-of-hearts that was truly what she wanted in the long term.
I often thought that if a friend drove me to dinner and when he got out of the car to go into the restaurant he told me, “I sometimes drink too much at dinner so I am giving you my keys and do not give them back to me if I am not sober”, then we went to dinner and he got drunk what would I do when he started ranting and raving to give him his car keys back? Would I act upon what my sober friend had told me and keep the keys or what my drunk friend was asking me to do – to give him the keys?
For many years everything that Sharon had told me made me believe that to her marriage was for life, so I chose to not give her a dissolution although in the short run that is what she wanted.
I continued to fight on behalf of our children. Almost every statistic I read showed that children whose parents divorced had more struggles in life. I had watched children close to us go through their parents’ divorce and I didn’t want them to have that experience. I also wanted to give my children an example of not giving up on marriage when things got tough.
I also fought on my own behalf. On the major things in life I don’t tend to quit easily, so there was just something deep inside of me that wouldn’t quit. I have made mistakes in life before but I did not want part of my legacy to be divorce. Yes, I will admit, I also didn’t want to be lonely divorced guy and I wanted to get back to having sex with my wife.
The more I heard testimonies of reconciled marriages, the more I had hope that we could be one. I am so thankful that Jesus gave me the strength not to quit, and Sharon and my kids now thank me for not giving up.